Dental SEO: Beginners Guide To Backlinks

July 5, 2022 by AACD Executive Office

Backlinks Help Your Practice Rank Higher In Search 

If you’re not familiar with dental SEO you probably haven’t been to a dental marketing conference in the last ten years. Dental SEO is a big deal when it comes to finding local cosmetic patients.

You likely understand the importance of search engine rankings, how to identify keywords, and write excellent blog posts. But how exactly does Google determine which dental practice ranks at the top of the search engine?

The Google algorithm has tens of thousands of factors regarding ranking. But the absolute number one factor that nearly all dental marketing experts agree upon is that the amount and quality of backlinks carry the most weight in the ranking.

Let's dive in and learn about the wide world of backlinks, why they are essential to your dental SEO strategy, and how to get more of them.


What Exactly Is A Website Backlink?

A backlink is a link from one website to another website. You have received a backlink if a website links to your dental practice website. If you link to another website, they have a backlink from you. 

Google uses backlinks to measure how relevant and authoritative your cosmetic dental website is. The more quality backlinks you have, the higher up the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) you'll appear.

Look at it as getting votes from other websites. The more votes (or backlinks) your website has, the higher you will rank. But it doesn't end there; the quality of your backlinks is also paramount. 

For example, MaryKate, who lives on the other side of the country, has a recipe blog with hardly any readers. There is a link on her blog to your website (don't ask why; it's just an example). MaryKate's link is helpful but not very much. She's not in the same part of the country, and her content is not relevant to your cosmetic dental services. 

An example of an excellent backlink would be if a popular, local news outlet writes an article on oral health tips and in the article mentions your dental practice, Why is this backlink better than MaryKate’s? Because the news outlet is popular, the content is relevant, and they're local. A backlink like this will help shoot you to the top of the search results. 

So, how do you get quality backlinks, you ask? We will share three very effective ways to get the best types of backlinks to help you rank at the top of the search engine.


#1 Link Sharing and Exchange

Link sharing or exchange is a link-building strategy where two different websites in the same industry give links to each other.

When looking for a link exchange, ask yourself: 

  1. Is the company local?
  2. Does this company's website have any content or products that my patients might find helpful?
  3. Can I link to this person's page in a relevant way that will be helpful for my patients? 
  4. Does their website have high quality content?

When you find a company website that fits those qualifications, shoot them an email asking, "Would you be interested in a link exchange? I'll give you a link on one of my blogs if you give me a link from one of yours."

If this sounds weird, it's not. In the digital marketing world, this is happening all the time. 


#2 Build Backlinks Through Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is when you write and submit an article to be published on someone else's website. Guest blogging is similar to a link exchange, but you're the one writing a new blog post. 

A local company would be interested in this because they will get a great piece of content for their blog, free. 

When guest blogging is done correctly, the search engines will see you as an authority in the dental industry, and your SERP rankings go up.

Finding Guest Blogging Opportunities

Any local business with a blog is an opportunity. You'll want to ask yourself the same questions with the link exchange. If you spend the time writing a blog post for someone, you want to get some traffic to your website. So, make sure who you choose is local, relevant, and popular. 

You'll also want to look into Help A Reporter Out, a website connecting journalists seeking expertise for articles. 


#3 Create Backlinks by Submitting to Directories

A directory is the same thing as a business listing. A great example would be the AACD Find A Local Cosmetic Dentist directory. Within the directory, a patient can find a list of all the cosmetic dentists who are members of the AACD.

There are hundreds of dental and medical directories, and nearly all of them are free. 

Directories will ask you to submit your dental practice's company logo, photos, website URL, email address, phone number, working hours, year of establishment, area of expertise, business description, and primary category. 

Submitting to directories has a two-fold benefit:

  1. You get a backlink that helps with your dental SEO. 
  2. Directories show up in search results. Being listed in a directory helps your practice to be found by potential patients. 

Submitting your practice information to directories can be done manually by hiring a company or doing it yourself with the help of software tools.

If you want to do this manually, you're asking for a lot of pain and anguish. But to get started you’ll probably want to run a directory listing report to see which listing you do and do not currently have. 

Dental marketing companies worth their beans will have a service to help out. 

But, if you want to do this yourself, there are several software companies out there that you can use to speed up the process. 

  1. Moz
  2. Vendasta
  3. and about a hundred more... just search "business directory submission" on Google, and you'll see.

Additional Ideas On How To Get More Backlinks

  1. Do guest appearances on Podcasts
  2. Take part in interviews
  3. Participate in forums and link to your website in the comments.
  4. Spy on your competitors and see where they've gotten backlinks. Use SEO tools like SEMRush to do this. 

Any effort to acquire valuable and relevant backlinks will be a serious boost to your dental SEO. Good luck!

About the Author: Adrian Lefler is a key member of the dental marketing team at My Social Practice. He’s passionate about helping dental practices grow through transparent and effective dental marketing services. 

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